And See This One? Get it? What? No, I Will Order When You Laugh With Childlike Delight, And Not Until Then.

August 11, 2012


I met someone at a Barnes & Noble cafe earlier.  The person in front of me in line made the terrible, terrible error of trying to use a Starbucks gift card and was laid waste by the disdain and ire of the barista.

“What IS IT with you imbeciles? Can’t you read the Barnes & Noble Cafe sign – where is it? Oh here it is under these Starbuck specialty drinks…”

“Uhmuhguhd.  We’re not a Starbucks, ungkay? We’re a Barnes & Noble cafe, featuring Starbucks coffee served in Starbucks cups, Starbucks pastries, Starbucks specialty drinks as displayed on these giant Starbucks posters, all served on Starbucks napkins. But as you can plainly see from this 4×6 inch placard on the cash register, we are not a Starbucks.”

I understand that they must get tired of explaining that 25 times a day, but it isn’t that 25 complete idiots come in every day.  Madam barista, you’re irritation is probably a skosh misdirected.  A tad inflated.

Maybe it’s the heat, but people seem awfully testy lately.  So, being a civic minded individual, concerned for the happiness and welfare of my fellow human beings, I showed the barista your captions for this weeks Weekly Question of the Week!  Every single one!  And any she didn’t laugh about, I explained until she did.  Oh, you should have seen the look on her face!  And the people in line behind me?  They just got more and more excited the more I showed her the captions.  It was a magical, magical 28 minutes.  I think it’s safe to say she completely forgot about that pesky Starbucks gift card.

As usual, there was caption gold in them thar hills of the Internet.  I’d actually suggest just going back and reading all of them, but until then, enjoy these finalists, and be sure to vote!

And finally, speaking of birds, the winner of last week’s finalists for the best lame hobby, was Jennifer Vaughn, who counts birds at her bird feeder!  (To be fair, it’s for science.  Nerdy, nerdy science.)  There’s no reason to think she does so in the voice of The Count from Sesame Street, but there’s also no specific evidence that she doesn’t, so let’s all picture that. (“TWO! Two finches! Ah! Ah! Ah!”)  Congratulations, Jennifer, on you contributions to posterity, and being my blogger of the week!  Please take a moment to visit Jennifer’s site – she counts birds for Cornell in her spare time.  You can’t tell me she doesn’t sound like an interesting person.  Jennifer, as blogger of the week, your trophy is being sculpted and your Starbucks gift card is in the mail, redeemable at any Barnes & Noble Cafe.

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About The Byronic Man

Recently voted "The Best Humor Site in America That I, Personally, Write," The Byronic Man is sometimes fiction, but sometimes autobiography. And sometimes cultural criticism. Oh, and occasionally reviews. Okay, it's all those different things, but always humorous. Except on the occasions that it's not. Ah, geez. Look, it's a lot of things, okay? You might like it, is the point.

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38 Comments on “And See This One? Get it? What? No, I Will Order When You Laugh With Childlike Delight, And Not Until Then.”

  1. speaker7 Says:

    I’m confused. Why is it not a Starbucks?


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Because they have failed to be properly assimilated. Resistance is futile!

      Also, because it’d be like being a car dealer who sells Toyotas, but not an authorized Toyota dealership.


  2. on thehomefrontandbeyond Says:

    I am confused too – if it looks like a chicken and quacks like a chicken it must be a Starbucks!


  3. anecdotaltales Says:

    I kid you not, when I’m working at SB I call out copycat drinks like The Count. “ONE tall white mocha, ah ah aaaaah. TWO tall white mocha, ah ah ahhhh.” But I’ll take your SB cards and even thank you, so maybe I’m just extra-spiffy.


  4. Margie Says:

    Apparently Barnes and Noble started selling Starbucks products in 1993. I guess the Starbucks Gift Card issue hasn’t hit the top of their list of things customers complain about yet.


  5. Carrie Rubin Says:

    Well, now I know why it took me so long to get my Starbucks/not Starbucks Barnes & Noble lemon bread. Thanks for holding up the line. 😉


  6. Fish Out of Water Says:

    Oh no, you really want to have your mind blown? There are Starbucks that aren’t Starbucks inside Barnes and Nobles that aren’t Barnes and Nobles. I’ve been in one and it’s maddening. We had a Nook that no one could help us with because it “wasn’t really a Barnes and Noble”. Then after that fiasco we tried to use a Starbucks gift card and were told, “this isn’t really a Starbucks”.


  7. themeredithmouth Says:

    As a former Starbucks barista (Uncle Howie paid my living expenses in grad school), I once tried to tip an employee at a licensed store in a B&N. “We can’t accept tips. We’re booksellers,” I was told.

    Um… what? That’s a BOOK in my coffee cup?

    I just put the tip on the counter and left it at that.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      And “book” sellers might be optimistic. I once applied for a job at a B&N while working on a teaching license. The manager asked if I had “any experience with books.” I said, “I have a masters degree in literature.” He replied, “But no experience selling books.”

      I didn’t get the job.


      • Go Jules Go Says:

        Lol I too was turned down by Barnes and Noble once. I feel like I relive that same rejection every time I enter a caption contest alongside 1ptperspective.


        • racheldeangelis Says:

          It’s okay, you guys. Actually, working at a book store isn’t as much fun as it sounds. I worked at Borders as a summer job one time, and I kept getting yelled at for reading the books! Apparently, reading the books is only an acceptable activity during lunch breaks. 😦 And the walkie-talkie-headphone-set thing gets really annoying after awhile too…I kept getting in trouble for turning mine off. So many silly rules!


  8. JenniferVaughn Says:

    I won? I actually won?! Ohmygoodness! Thank you, everyone, so much for this great honor. I am just overwhelmed that so many of you found my hobby the LAMEST of them all… Wait. Oh man, its junior high all over again…

    Still, thank you. I promise my blog isn’t anywhere near as lame as my hobbies.


  9. Eagle-Eyed Editor Says:

    Maybe B&N should relabel all their cups and things so it’s clearer that they are NOT a Starbucks. Sheesh. I don’t blame people for getting confused.


  10. mj monaghan Says:

    I’ve heard B&N is starting caption contests under the Byronic Man name. Will you honor those?


  11. Edward Hotspur Says:

    If a barista tells you “We’re not a Starbucks” be sure to follow it up by asking where the Kindle Fires are located.


  12. racheldeangelis Says:

    Hmm…I don’t mean to start a conspiracy theory here, but every time I vote in these contests, it seems like the person listed at the very top of the survey is always receiving the most votes. Are people just clicking the first one they see? How do you choose which order to put them in, Byronic Man? Are YOU trying to sway the vote?? 😉


  13. Kate Says:

    I once had to explain to a customer that we couldn’t honour their US Borders gift card in an Australian Borders store… They really didn’t get it. I was about to launch into a brief lecture about globalisation and the difference between a global brand and a global business… but I decided I’d just call a manager.


  14. Love & Lunchmeat Says:

    You only allow one vote in your quizzes? Dammit!!

    How Starbucks is managing to take over the world when their coffee is retched… It’s beyond me. You can see why the Barnes and Noble people would try to distance themselves and pretend that it’s Chock Full of Nuts in those Starbucks cups…


  15. Hippie Cahier Says:

    Oh, wow. Those captions are so good it’s hard to pick just one.

    Congratulations, Jennifer. . . B — I totally heard your impersonation of the Count and I laughed and laughed and laughed. . .


  16. Angie Z. Says:

    These captions are amazing. This is why I choose not to compete. Professional comedy caption writers are among us.


    • pegoleg Says:

      I think I’m going to have to hang up my competition gloves – I’m tired of getting my cyber-butt kicked all over the place.


      • Paul G. Eberlein Says:

        Here’s a thought: At year’s end, have a “Caption of the Week” tournament of champions.
        Provide a totally crazy picture. Invite past winners to submit a caption. Then let the rest of us vote for the best one, making them “Caption of the Year” blogger champion! Their winning prize? The chance to help the B-man write his next stand-up comedy routine, based on the pictures and captions. The only hitch: Carrot-top might sue you for lifting the essense of his act.


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